Australia's Ten Tenors are no overgrown knockoff of the similarly named Italian-Spanish-Mexican trio, but a distinctively Australian crossover ensemble that toured small Down Under venues for years.
They developed stage presence and a flair for comedy to go with the operatic training on which the individual tenors were embarked when they came together in Brisbane in 1995 as university students. By 1998 they had devised a full-scale touring show, and over the next four years they gained wider attention in their native country. The musical content of their shows differs from other tenor extravaganzas in its inclusion of rock music along with classical, Neapolitan, and pop selections. The tenors' versatility won international attention when they appeared as guests on the 2002 Eurovision Song Contest, held in Kiel, Germany, and televised across the continent; they sang a virtuoso medley of the contest finalists' songs, and their telegenic qualities were on full display. Their Larger than Life album marked their debut in the Western hemisphere when it was released in September 2004, and a tour through the U.S. and Canada followed. The album featured music by composers ranging from Verdi to Carlos Gardel, Vangelis, and the tenors themselves. Here's to the Tenors, recorded in 2006, reached Billboard's list of top ten classical crossover albums and was released worldwide both as a CD and DVD. In 2008, to celebrate their tenth anniversary, the group released the CD Nostalgica which included the songs most frequently requested by their fans. The group regularly tours for ten months of the year and performs about 250 concerts on five continents.